Associate Board

Namaste Charter School’s Associate Board brings together young professionals from across Chicago who are committed to supporting an innovative, successful urban educational model. Associate Board members plan fundraising and outreach initiatives to raise important support for Namaste programs.

The Associate Board’s major event is our Lucky Flames Casino Night, held annually in the fall. Please visit our event page  for more information.

Lucky Flames Casino Night

Save the Date!
November 9, 2018
7-11 pm
The Montgomery Club
500 W. Superior

To learn more about Namaste Charter School’s Associate Board and opportunities for involvement, please contact the Development Office at or 773-715-9558 x301.


Our Associate Board: 

Melissa Kessler, President

Sarah Hinman, Treasurer
Quaker Foods and Snacks

Sarah Lang, Secretary
Weber Shandwick

Elaina Andrade
Holland & Knight LLP

Stephanie Bak

Nigel D’Souza

Johanna Lara

Alyssa Ronald
Alvarez & Marsal

JJ Schultz

David Zaslav

Allie Zich


Purpose: Namaste Charter School’s Associate Board was created in order to reach young professionals with a strong interest in education and health and wellness to engage them in the important mission and work of Namaste Charter School.

Mission: Namaste’s Associate Board is a volunteer group of highly energized, dedicated young professionals. In addition to networking and leadership opportunities, Associate Board members receive fulfillment by supporting an award-winning public charter school that has been successfully “educating children from the inside out” since 2004.

About Namaste Charter School: Through a tuition-free, innovative public education, Namaste Charter School is changing the trajectory of 480 traditionally underserved children’s lives each year. Namaste promotes lifelong student success and a love of learning through a groundbreaking educational model that combines health and wellness with academic rigor in a peaceful environment.

Associate Board activities include:

  • Develop, plan and produce one major annual fundraising event and up to two smaller fundraiser or awareness events, designed to attract a young audience that builds visibility and support for Namaste Charter School within the Chicago Metropolitan area.

 Expectations of members:

  • Have a clear understanding and ability to communicate Namaste Charter School’s mission, programs and services, as well as finances, budget and financial/resource needs.
  • Attend Namaste Charter School fundraising events.
  • Understand the policies and procedures of the organization.
  • Recruit one NCSAB board member a year.

Time and financial commitment:

  • NCSAB meets once every month (as a full board or committee) on the first Wednesday evening of the month.  Meetings are generally held in the Chicago downtown area and typically last 60 minutes.  Members are expected to attend at least 9 out of the 12 meetings annually.
  • Members are expected to contribute and/or help raise a minimum of $1000 annually (opportunities include event ticket sales, sponsorships and more).
  • Members are expected to serve on at least one fundraising event committee.

Associate Board Member Benefits

  • The opportunity to directly affect the lives of the students and families at Namaste Charter School.
  • Exclusive networking and volunteer opportunities with other young professionals.
  • Name recognition on Namaste Charter School’s website, event invitations, Annual Report.